Sparkling new Glendale Arena hasn’t done much for the Phoenix Coyotes’ push for a playoff spot.
Still struggling to find the winning formula in their new facility, the Coyotes host the surging Dallas Stars.
Phoenix moved into Glendale on Dec. 27, but has gone just 2-5-1-1 since, including Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Ottawa. Shane Doan scored the lone goal, his 19th of the season, for the Coyotes, who have been outscored by a combined 6-2 in consecutive home losses since opening a critical six-game stand with an impressive 5-2 win over Detroit last Saturday.
Thursday’s loss dropped Phoenix six points out of the eighth and last playoff position in the Western Conference. With games against Dallas, Columbus and Florida remaining on the homestand, the Coyotes have to find a way to play better in their new arena.
“The time is now and we have to show a lot more desperation in our game,” Phoenix center Jeff Taffe said. “We need points and the schedule doesnt get any easier, we have to find a way to get on a roll and get back to the style of play that makes us successful.”
The Stars appear to have found that formula after struggling for most of the season. On Friday, Jere Lehtinen scored with 2:49 remaining as Dallas pulled out a 2-1 home win over Pacific Division-leading San Jose.
The victory pulled the Stars within four points of the first-place Sharks, and moved them into fifth place overall in the West.
The Stars have won the Pacific title in four of the past five seasons, but were struggling to stay near the .500 mark before going 8-3-1 over their last 12 games.